The Houses Balance Of Power Is Tipped Toward Democrats
The Democrats have a narrow six-member margin in the current House of Representatives, meaning if just a handful of seats flip, Republicans can regain control of the House.
Democrats advantage will grow to seven when Troy Carter is sworn in to fill a seat in Louisianas delegation left vacant by Cedric Richmond, who left the House to join the Biden administration as the director of the White House Office of Public Engagement.
Diversity Of The Freshman Class
The demographics of the 116th U.S. Congress freshmen were more diverse than any previous incoming class.
At least 25 new congressional representatives were Hispanic, Native American, or people of color, and the incoming class included the first Native American women, the first Muslim women, and the two youngest women ever elected. The 116th Congress included more women elected to the House than any previous Congress.
Republicans’ Chances Of Beating Democrats For Control Of Senate In Midterms
As the midterms approach, Republicans feel emboldened by President Joe Biden‘s tanking approval rating and widespread criticism of the Democrats‘ leadership in Washington, D.C.giving them hope they’ll be able to flip the Senate back to GOP control in November.
Democrats currently hold the Senate with the slimmest possible majority. The legislative body has 50 Republican members and 48 Democrats, as well as two independents who caucus with their Democratic colleagues. With that even split, Vice President Kamala Harris, in her role as Senate president, can cast tie-breaking votes, which gives her party narrow control of the upper chamber of Congress.
When voters go to the polls across the country in just over five months, 35 Senate seats will be up for grabs. Of these, 14 are held by Democrats and 21 are held by Republicans. With a zero margin of comfort, Democrats cannot lose even one seat and maintain their control of the Senate. At the same time, most of these seats are considered safe, as they are held by incumbents in states that largely vote for Democrats or Republicans, respectively.
Seven seats are considered by analysts to be the most competitive in the 2022 election cycle, although some are more likely to flip than others. Notably, while Republicans may manage to win one or more of these races, Democrats could also pick up a seat or two held by a GOP lawmaker.
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How To Organize An Evenly Divided Senate
Since organizing a Chamber is a partisan affair, with the majority party controlling the agenda, it might seem like a Senate with a 50-50 split would have no majority. In practice, even if both parties have an equal number of Senators, one party is the majority because of a particular provision of the Constitution. According to the Constitution, the Vice President of the United States is the presiding officer of the Senate, so she governs debate. It also provides that she does not have a vote, except in the case of a tie. Due to the Vice Presidents right to cast a vote in the case of a tie, her party is considered the majority, since everyone, especially her party, expects her to vote along with the Administration and her party in Congress. Since the current Vice President, Kamala Harris, is a Democrat, the Democrats are considered the majority now.
What Does That Mean To Joe Biden
The narrow Democratic majority will help Joe Biden as he tries to fill out his Cabinet and pass an agenda headlined by a coronavirus relief package.
Biden hopes the Senate can spend part of its time on the impeachment trial while still confirming executive branch nominees.
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As Republicans Stumble Could Democrats Really Hold On To The Senate
Republicans need just one seat to regain the chamber, but recent failures mean things are looking up for the Democrats
Things appear to be looking up for Democratic Senate candidates.
As recently as a few months ago, Republicans were widely viewed as the favorites to take control of the Senate after the crucial US midterm elections this November. Given the current 50-50 split, Republicans only need to flip one seat to regain the majority in the upper chamber.
But now, the nomination of several controversial Republican candidates and a recent string of Democratic legislative victories have many election forecasters reconsidering their predictions. Democrats appear better positioned to keep the Senate now than at any other point of this election cycle, although experts emphasize that the outlook could significantly shift again before November.
Democrats have the benefit of a favorable Senate map this year, as they are not defending any seats in states carried by Donald Trump in 2020.
Democrats prospects have also been aided by Republicans failure to recruit top candidates in several states, including incumbent governors Doug Ducey of Arizona and Chris Sununu of New Hampshire. Instead, vulnerable Republicans were able to secure nominations in a number of key battleground states, often with the help of Trumps endorsement.
As Republican candidates have stumbled, Democrats have enjoyed a wave of wins on Capitol Hill.
Th Congress 2017 And 2018
Republicans held both chambers of Congress and the presidency but accomplished little of the party’s agenda due partially to infighting and partially to clashes with Democrats.
- White House: Republican
- House: Republicans held 236 seats, Democrats held 196 seats there were three vacancies.
- Senate: Republicans held 50 seats, Democrats held 47 seats there were two independents, both of whom caucused with the Democrats. There was one vacancy.
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New Members Of Congress
In the 2018 Senate and House elections, nine new members were elected to the Senate and 93 new members were elected to the House. These new members of Congress defeated incumbents or competed for open seats as a result of appointments to state and executive offices, resignations, and retirements. Here are some facts about the new members of Congress.
- Five incumbent senatorsfour Democrats and one Republicanwere defeated in general elections. Senators who defeated incumbents were Mike Braun , Kevin Cramer , Josh Hawley , Jacky Rosen , and Rick Scott .
- Three senators, all Republican, did not seek re-election in 2018. They were replaced by two Republicans and a Democrat. Sen. Thad Cochran also retired early, leaving his seat vacant. Cindy Hyde-Smith was elected to complete his term.
- Fifty-two members of the U.S. House did not seek re-election in 2018. The 34 outgoing Republicans were replaced by 24 Republicans and 10 Democrats. The 18 outgoing Democrats were replaced by 15 Democrats and three Republicans.
- Four members of the U.S. Housetwo Democrats and two Republicanswere defeated in primary elections in 2018. They were replaced by three Democrats and one Republican.
- Thirty members of the U.S. House, all Republicans, were defeated in the general election by Democrats.
Jennings: We’ve Reached The Joker Phase Of The Biden Presidency
With more than half of this year’s competitive Senate matchups set, the overall electoral environment remains consistent: President Joe Biden‘s poor approval numbers, combined with a pervasive sense that the country is headed in the wrong direction, are weighing down Democrats looking to maintain control of Congress.
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Democrats Take Control Of House But Republicans Tighten Grip On Senate
Control of lower chamber of Congress will allow Democrats to block much of Trumps agenda and investigate his administration
Democrats have regained control of the House of Representatives, a momentous win in the midterm elections that will enable the party to block much of Donald Trumps agenda and bombard the president with investigations.
As results came in from across the country overnight, the midterms were a tale of two chambers: the Democrats won key House congressional races while Republicans expanded their majority in the Senate.
The election served as a referendum on Trumps America, and whether Republicans should remain in absolute power in Washington.
Democrats needed to flip 23 seats to take control of the House of Representatives, and early on Wednesday morning hit the 218 needed to win back the chamber from Republicans, breaking one-party rule in Congress after eight years.
Speaking in Washington, the House Democratic leader, Nancy Pelosi, said the party would use its newly won majority to pursue a bipartisan agenda for a country. Pelosi said Americans have all had enough of division.
Thanks to you tomorrow will be a new day in America, she said.
Earlier in the evening, the White House spokeswoman, Sarah Sanders, sought to downplay Democratic gains, saying: Maybe you get a ripple, but I certainly dont think that theres a blue wave.
And despite the losses, Trump in a tweet early on Wednesday called the midterm results a Big Victory.
Th Congress 2001 And 2002
- White House: Republican
- House: Republicans held 221 seats, Democrats held 212 seats there were two independents
- Senate: Republicans held 50 seats, Democrats held 48 seats there were two independents
*Notes: This session of the Senate began with the chamber evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats. But on June 6, 2001, U.S. Sen. James Jeffords of Vermont switched from Republican to independent and began caucusing with the Democrats, giving the Democrats a one-seat advantage. Later on Oct. 25, 2002, Democratic U.S. Sen. Paul D. Wellstone died and independent Dean Barkley was appointed to fill the vacancy. On Nov. 5, 2002, Republican U.S. Sen. James Talent of Missouri replaced Democratic U.S. Sen. Jean Carnahan, shifting the balance back to the Republicans.
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When Will We Know If Democrats Or Republicans Control The United States Senate
Could the Democrats pack the courts or get rid of the Senate filibuster during a Biden Presidency? Those topics were heavily debated during the run-up to the 2020 Election, but they may prove moot even if Biden wins with more Democratic losses in the Senate.
Republicans trounced Democratic challengers in crucial states but failed to lock down the seats needed to retain their tenuous majority as of Thursday. In fact, a clear picture of Senate control may not come until 2021.
One race in Georgia is headed to a January runoff. A second contest in Georgia and races in North Carolina and Alaska remain undecided, leaving the chamber now deadlocked 48-48.
Were waiting whether Im going to be the majority leader or not, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Wednesday.
If current leads in Alaska and North Carolina hold for Republicans, they will at least guarantee a 50-50 split. That scenario would allow the next vice president to serve as the tiebreaker on strictly partisan votes.
Republicans also lead the second race in Georgia, where GOP Sen. David Perdue was trying to hold off Democrat Jon Ossoff in a multi-candidate race that could also go to a runoff in January if neither candidate clears the 50% threshold to win.
That means we could be waiting until January to find out who controls the majority, and the possibility exists that the Democrats will be attempting to flip both Georgia seats in an attempt to pull even in the Senate.
Incumbents Defeated In Primary Elections
The following table lists incumbents defeated in 2020 House primary elections or conventions.
|Incumbents defeated in primaries|
In the 2018 midterm elections, 378 U.S. House incumbents ran for re-election. This was the lowest number of U.S. House incumbents seeking re-election since 1992.
Thirty-four incumbentsâ9 percentâlost their re-election bids. That included two Democrats and 32 Republicans. This was the highest percentage of incumbents defeated since 2012, when 10.2 percent were not re-elected.
The following data for congressional re-election rates from 2000 to 2016 was reported in Vital Statistics, a joint research project of the Brookings Institution and the American Enterprise Institute. Find the original datasets and methodology here. Data for the 2018 election came from Ballotpedia.
|Defeated U.S. House incumbents by party, 2000-2018|
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Democrats Distance Themselves From Joe Biden As Anger Mounts In Wake Of Kabul Bombings
Referring to the sharing of intelligence with the Taliban, Republican senator Marco Rubio said: The president basically provided the Taliban with a user friendly kill list.
Republicans have requested that documents relating to decisions on the Afghanistan withdrawal be preserved, suggesting a potential future inquiry.
Mr Trump said: We look like fools all over the world, we are weak, we are pathetic, we are being led by people that have no idea what they are doing.
The day after the bombing Mr Biden met in the Oval Office with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.
Mr Biden said the mission in Afghanistan was dangerous but worthy. He added: We will complete the mission.
The two leaders also discussed the threat from Iran and reaffirmed their commitment to ensuring Iran never develops a nuclear weapon.
A new Reuters/Ipsos poll showed Mr Bidens standing with independent voters, who were key to his victory in 2020, had plummeted by 14 percentage points since June.
Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginias Center for Politics, told The Telegraph: Republicans can use this to stir up their base.
But he added: This is foreign policy and its over a year to the midterm elections.
Meanwhile, a Democrat congressman, who made a controversial secret trip to Kabul, was also highly critical of the president.
Seth Moulton, a former US Marine, told New York magazine that the situation at the airport was disastrous.
Congressional Balance Of Power Odds
Note: The following odds are currently off the boards, but this is how they looked on Election Day 2020.
US Senate Control *
House And Senate Balance Of Power *
- Democratic House, Democratic Senate +125
- Democratic House, Republican Senate +175
- Republican House, Republican Senate +500
- Republican House, Democratic Senate +6600
*Odds from Nov. 1, 2020.
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Who Controls The Senate 2021
- 5:59 ET, Jan 21 2021
THE Democrats are now officially in charge of the Senate – but only by the narrowest of margins.
* Read our US politics live blog for the very latest news and updates on Joe Biden and Donald Trump…
Th Congress 2015 And 2016
The 114th Congress was notable because Republicans won their largest majorities in the House and Senate in decades after voters used the midterm election in 2014 to express dissatisfaction with a Democratic president, Barack Obama. Democrats lost control of the Senate in the 2014 elections.
Said Obama after the results became clear:
Obviously, Republicans had a good night. And they deserve credit for running good campaigns. Beyond that, Ill leave it to all of you and the professional pundits to pick through yesterdays results.
- White House: Democrat
- House: Republicans held 246 seats, Democrats held 187 seats there were two vacancies.
- Senate: Republicans held 54 seats, Democrats held 44 seats there were two independents, both of whom caucused with the Democrats.
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Pennsylvania Ohio Races Looking Better For Democrats
ANALYSIS Less than a year ago, Democrats were struggling to win big races in places where Joe Biden had won handily in 2020. Now, theyre within striking distance of winning in some states that Biden barely carried, and it could be enough to hold the Senate majority.
The size and shape of the Senate battleground is similar to what it was last August, when Democrats were defending Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and New Hampshire and Republicans were defending Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Achieving a net gain of one seat looked well within reach for the GOP considering Democratic candidates underperformed Bidens 2020 margin of victory by about 12 points in the Virginia and New Jersey gubernatorial races in 2021, and Biden narrowly won six of the eight initial Senate battleground states in 2022. As long as Republicans held their own seats, they only needed to defeat one of the vulnerable Democratic incumbents.
Bidens job approval rating has been poor or mediocre since the countrys exit from Afghanistan last year, and theres little historical precedent for a party in power dramatically improving their election prospects in the final few months of a midterm. Typically, its a slide toward significant losses.
But theres evidence that this cycle will not be a typical midterm.
Theres also been some movement at the individual race level.
What Limitations Will Senate Democrats Face In Passing Legislation
Most proposed legislation can be filibustered by members of the minority party, which means 60 members must agree to end debate and move the bill to a final vote.
The use of the Senate filibuster has become increasingly more common since the 1700s and is now a routine way of obstructing legislation. Concerns about increasing partisan gridlock have sparked debate over whether to reform the legislative filibuster, which would give the majority party vast authority to pass bills. During the recent filibuster debate between McConnell and Schumer, President Joe Biden remained silent on the issue. Other lawmakers in the past, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., have called to do away with it.
But advocates for keeping the filibuster said it preserves power for the minority party. Removing the filibuster could also backfire on Democrats if they lose control of the Senate again. As of now, Democrats do not have the votes to end the filibuster but could also consider lowering the threshold, for example from 60 members to 55.
Senate filibuster use over time. Graphic by Danny Davis and Kate Grumke/PBS NewsHour.
There are some very narrow rules around it. It has to have budgetary implications. You cant just stick on any random thing. It has to actually be pretty narrowly tailored, Powell said.
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